Queens rallies past Bobcats, 69-53

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Antonio Stabler posted a double-double with game-highs of 27 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Queens University of Charlotte men's basketball team to a 69-53 come-from-behind victory over Lees-McRae College on Saturday evening in Williams Gymnasium.

Queens (6-6, 3-3 CC) posted a field goal percentage of 42 percent in the contest, including a 47.8 percent clip in the second half, while holding Lees-McRae (0-12, 0-6 CC) to a mark of 34.6 percent on the night. The Royals won the battle on the glass by a 37-34 margin, including a 27-23 edge on the defensive boards, while outscoring the Bobcats 30-26 in the paint.

Daniel Sepokas (Illawong, Australia) paced the Bobcats with 18 points, while Asad Lamot (Mebane, N.C.) and Charles Clarke (Orlando, Fla.) added nine and seven markers, respectively. DeAndre Tillman (Charlotte, N.C.) chipped in a team-high seven rebounds as Corey Young (Bluff City, Tenn.) dished out a squad best three assists.

Stabler led all scorers with 27 points on 8-of-14 shooting, converting 10-of-13 attempts at the free throw line while pulling down a game-high 13 rebounds. Brandon Nichols added 12 points and five assists, as Tre McLean chipped in nine markers and six boards.

The Bobcats answered an early 5-2 spurt by the Royals with a 20-7 run of their own, taking a 22-12 lead on a Sepokas triple with 8:50 left in the half. Queens countered with a 19-2 surge, claiming a 31-24 advantage following a Stabler lay-in at the 2:28 mark. The Royals would carry the momentum into the intermission, closing out the half with a buzzer-beating layup by Griffin Shaw to take a 34-26 lead into the break.

Lees-McRae battled back in the early moments of the second half, cutting the lead to 39-34 on a Sepokas three-pointer to cap an 8-5 spurt with 15:51 to play. After Queens countered with a Nichols jumper, Lamot answered with a clutch layup to cut the lead to 43-40 with 10:51 left on the clock on the heels of a 6-2 spurt.

Queens would respond with a 14-3 surge, pushing the lead to 57-43 on a pair of Stabler freebies with 4:48 to play. The Royals closed out the win from there, edging the Bobcats by a 12-10 margin over the final four and a half minutes to cap the 69-53 victory.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Wednesday when the Bobcats host North Greenville University in conference play at 7:30 p.m. The Bobcats will hold a special ceremony during halftime of the women's game against North Greenville to dedicate the new floor of Williams Gymnasium to McNair and Debi Tornow on Avery County Chamber of Commerce night.

- LMC -